wine by the color

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So after a good night of sleep Saturday, I returned to the Dublin air strip early Sunday to welcome Becky. Her flight was due to arrive at 6:45 a.m. and I thought it would be nice to help her find her way, given that I was by then a savvy veteran of the process.

After her uneventful arrival, we returned to the hotel for some breakfast (which I honestly believe would be the only time we ate an actual breakfast until the day of our departure). We then decided to do a little wandering, which led to what would become our routine for the next week: a few hours of culture and history followed by countless hours of carousing.

As we left the hotel that morning, I let the Beckster know that should she tire at any point, due to her lengthy night of travel, to just let me know and we'd retire to the hotel for a rest. That was around 11 a.m. We returned to our posh accommodations shortly after midnight. She promised she would be raring to go, and indeed she was.

Sunday's culture included a walk through St. Stephen's Green and a visit to Trinity College to see the impressive Book of Kells.

After our first walk along the River Liffey (in absolutely bitterly cold temperatures)...

it was finally pub time (around 3 p.m.). We hit a few places before settling in at Kehoe's, which was outstanding.

The pubs in Ireland are quite different than the bars here. Almost everywhere we went, there were no televisions nor any blaring music. This lack of assault on the eardrums allowed for actual conversation, which we enjoyed with a variety of folks night after night. In Kehoe's that evening, we met a local couple who provided us with a bevy of recommendations.

We also enjoyed with them the first of countless conversations we had during the week about US politics. Honestly, the Irish people are more informed about US politics than the majority of people in this country. And they really, really want Hillary to be the next president. They hail Bill as a hero for his involvement in achieving peace in Northern Ireland, and they would like nothing more than to see another Clinton in the White House.

After several hours at Kehoe's it was on to a few more pubs before finally arriving at O'Neill's, which would serve as our guiding light for the rest of the week. Dublin was at times confusing, with winding streets and alleys all over, and we were forever getting turned around (which I'm sure had nothing to do with the 10 or so pints of Guinness each day). But every time we'd start to think we were actually lost, O'Neill's would be there, showing us the way home.

Upon our return to the hotel, Becky realized she hadn't called her husband to let him know she had safely arrived. So she called him as I got into bed. As she made small talk, I started hollering, "Buckeyes! Ask about the Buckeyes!" I had been unable to determine the fates of Missouri and West Virginia and was quite eager for information.

So I listened to her side of the conversation as she reported that both West Virginia and Missouri had lost. And then I started yelling at her to pay better attention, because I assured her she had to have heard wrong as there was no way WVU would lose to the atrocious Pitt Panthers. I went so far as to accuse her of being too drunk to listen properly, or realize when her husband was pulling her leg.

Well, it took until Tuesday, but when I finally got my hands on a USA Today, I learned that despite nine hours of drinking, her auditory skills were just fine, and OSU was indeed going to its second consecutive national title game...


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